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Times Prince

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About Times Prince

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Central Texas
  • Interests
    music - playing guitar
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess Cruises
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Interesting story: when on the Grand Princess in 2000, we anchored at Monaco, which was a tender port. In the afternoon a very large yacht came up alongside, and later the Captain of the Grand Princess announced the Arab owner of the yacht had asked for and been given a tour, after which he asked "How much for the ship?" Apparently Princess Cruises wasn't willing to part with their newest ship at that time. 😀
  2. We were on Pacific Princess II (the current one) for a Tahiti to Hawaii cruise, which was fabulous! The ship has a more intimate feeling, and we were lucky enough to get to know the Cruise Director and staff as they have more time to meet guests. If flying from the USA (we went through LAX), do try to book Air Tahiti Nui. Even economy felt like luxury, and the people who flew in a day or two earlier reported a lot fewer passengers onboard. Our cruise had no issues at all with rough seas, and even the day of more wave amplitude the ship's stabilizers handled it well. Regarding upcoming TransAtlantics, the ships are much bigger and quite a bit less susceptible to motion. Indeed a lot of the time we couldn't feel anything at all.
  3. Yes, Princess insurance is secondary coverage. With a Medicare Advantage coverage as the primary insurance, the doctor bill for onboard medical is covered at the usual rates. However Plan D prescription coverage does not pay for medications prescribed and taken whilst out of the USA. For those we get the denial and then submit to the Princess Insurance carrier. The biggest hassle we've had is for primary insurance wanting US ICDA procedure codes which are not on the bill received onboard from Princess. The longest we've taken for the onboard medical claims to be finally settled was about 6 months, 5 of which was our primary insurance (pre-retirement) being idiots saying "we've already processed that claim" when they hadn't. Thank God we have not had to be airlifted or hospitalized interrupting a cruise, so I can't comment from personal experience on that type of coverage.
  4. We have used Princess Platinum insurance since we started cruising (slightly different name back then). No problem with pre-existing conditions, and between it and our primary insurance it has covered every shipboard malady we've had @ 100%. As mentioned it does have cancel for any reason coverage. When researching travel insurance be sure to check if it covers you based on the state you live in. Living in Texas we have found that some popular trip insurance plans do not cover us (Texas has really weird regulations about insurance).
  5. The size of the balcony doesn't affect the ability to get fresh air at all, as it only takes minutes for an open balcony door to completely refresh the air in a room. We've found the balconies on Royal Princess to be totally adequate, and have spent many an hour outdoors on our balcony enjoying the sea air. We are not spring chickens but we also enjoy cruising and experiencing the local culture where possible and safe. Where we agree is that cruising is not in the cards for us until vaccines are out and proven effective (not this 50% goal that is being pushed right now - that's a coin toss.) However money is not the issue and one doesn't need to be affluent to cruise. I think you've got the future market wrong, or perhaps one that is more applicable to Carnival or RCCL.
  6. You are right. When sailing the Royal Princess we've had a cabin near the aft set of elevators for access to the buffet areas. And midships had the usual set of elevators including the two glass elevators facing the atrium. We tried the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, and it only had the two sets of elevators, midship and forward. Perhaps the OP has his cruise lines mixed up.
  7. It is after 15 cruise credits are achieved. The exception may be if one has booked what is normally 2 back to back cruises as a single cruise and your 15th cruise is in the first leg. Then the Elite status is after the end of the booked cruise. If you are in that case, then talk to the Captain's Circle representative onboard and he/she may change your status for the 2nd leg to Elite.
  8. The pre-pandemic timing shown above defined the problem. All the dining rooms pretty much filled @5 -5:30, and tables or sections didn't open up until 7:30. Our preferred dining time was about 7:00-7:15 and we were always given a pager and told to wait until 7:30, at which time we were directed to the dining room on deck 6, which was just finishing the Traditional early seating. When we turned in our pager there was always a large line waiting for ATD. On Royal Princess we found the Horizon Court dining to be very good. The food was almost always hot and tasty. Alfredo's was a good dining alternate and never had a wait.
  9. The problem with some brokerage statements is they have you full name on one page and just the account number on another showing your holdings. This was insufficient for CCL/Princess the last time we sailed, and we had to get a letter from our broker. This is a good reason for not waiting until the last minute to submit your request for shareholder benefit.
  10. Also I have found that any Princess Cruises special offer that has a non-refundable deposit says this clearly in the offer details. When actually booking online it will also ask if you are aware it is non-refundable. Without these notifications, the deposit is refundable.
  11. In addition I have also found that booking direct with airlines can beat the "best" prices offered by booking engines. When going to a new destination I will check those booking engines to find what airline offers the best fares, and then will go to the airline site to get the flight less expensive.
  12. What you describe is often called an "open jaw" flight. What I've found is that Princess EZAir beats the airline costs in almost every case because the airlines book it as two costly one-way fares and EZAir books it more like a round trip. In every case I have booked Princess EZAir. We have also found that once the booking is confirmed and you get an airline record locator code it is easy to go to the airline's websites and to reserve a seat. I've done this with United, American, Jet Blue, and Delta. The only time I've had an issue was when the airline changed aircraft type sometime after booking. Keeping yourself informed by signing up on the airline sites for email/text notifications for changes is highly recommended.
  13. I may be out of date on news, but the last I heard of countries refusing to repatriate was when the crew would have had to pass through a port, then through an airport to get to chartered flights to get back to the countries. In a time of global fear of further spread of the pandemic the amount of travel from the quarantine ship environment to the country provided too much uncertainty concerning re-contamination. This, combined with uncertainty about how the highly infectious virus is spread, meant that countries acted with an excess of caution, and also presented unreasonable roadblocks to repatriation. For instance the USA requires that Princess Cruises corporate physician certify the health of the crew member, despite that person never having had direct contact with the crew, with that certification also disregarding the assessment of the Ship's Doctor who could provide accurate input. In short, the government only trusts their own citizen who they could prosecute should the virus actually be carried by a crew member. That requirement was rejected by Princess. I agree that cruising will not start without the blessing of the CDC. Cruising by the public will likely not be a truly safe option until an anti-virus is available or that Covid-19 has mysteriously disappeared for more than a year. Unfortunately that also means our personal cruising days are over. Stay well.
  14. The Princess crew still onboard are long past the incubation period for Covid-19. With them able to use the beach facilities (and probably being restricted from contact with island residents) you have a situation where it is a clean environment, avoiding re-contamination. And this is the problem with the proposal that paying passengers be allowed to cruise. They are not from a clean environment. Any one of them could be an unwitting asymptomatic carrier. We know that the cruise lines deep clean after a norovirus outbreak, yet days into a subsequent cruise the norovirus is back. That's because the new passengers bring it onboard with them, having acquired it during a flight, at a hotel, at a restaurant, or wherever. But unlike noro with a brief 12-48 hour incubation period (ref. CDC data) Covid-19 appears to have an incubation period of 5-6 days to 14 days (again ref CDC) before symptoms it is likely that a new passenger will not only spread to others during their voyage, but any crew that contracts it would inadvertently carry it on to the next cruise. This is what happened with Grand Princess, where the original carrier was on the cruise BEFORE the one that became fully quarantined. So starting "Beach cruises" is a bad idea. Unless you strictly quarantine passengers for over 2 weeks prior to boarding and isolate them from their quarantine hotel to the cruise ship. I'm pretty sure no one will buy that solution.
  15. Some clarification is needed. Many of us have FCC's that have a 2 year expiration date, after which our $100 deposit money is automatically returned. Then there are people who have been given some sort of Cruise Credit in lieu of cancelled cruises. They need to look at the terms of the agreement to see if there are clauses related to time and/or return of cash.
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